ePayment frequently asked questions
What is the ePayment process?
The ePayment process is a way for an employer to submit 100 percent of their contribution payment to CalSTRS by an electronic funds transfer method through an Automated Clearing House. This ePayment process stemmed from Assembly Bill 2052 (Chapter 125, Statutes of 2018), of which The Teachers’ Retirement Board made effective for payments made on or after July 1, 2020.
What is an Automated Clearing House?
An Automated Clearing House (ACH) is an electronic funds-transfer system that facilitates payments. All major financial banking institutions provide this service. With an ACH payment method, funds are transferred between banks or bank accounts upon initiation by a party that owns one of the bank accounts for a specific purpose and dollar amount. Industry best practices for governmental entities prescribe ACH as the preferred payment format, providing greater efficiency and accuracy.
If an employer deposits a physical check payable to CalSTRS at a local bank or sends it by mail or transfers funds by a wire transfer to CalSTRS’ bank account, is the employer following the ePayment process?
No – The ePayment process requires all employers to submit contribution payments by an electronic fund transfer method through an ACH payment method.
What are the methods for submitting ACH ePayments?
These are the methods for submitted ACH ePayments:
- ACH Debit: This method is offered online via www.govone.com/PAYCAL and is free of charge. Employers can authorize CalSTRS to debit their bank account for a specified amount on a specified date. Payments can be scheduled for any banking day up to 90 days in advance and can be cancelled up to the date prior to debit date.
- ACH Credit: This method allows employers to instruct their bank to debit their account and credit CalSTRS’ bank account for a specified amount on a specified date. Employers are responsible for any set-up and transaction fees charged by their banks for this payment method.
How does an employer set-up an ACH ePayment method?
CalSTRS currently offers an ACH Debit method and is in the process of establishing the ACH Credit option. To establish an ACH Debit method, the employer needs to send an email request to ePayments@CalSTRS.com for the Electronic Payment Authorization Agreement form. Once the completed form is returned to CalSTRS, the ePayments team will set up the employer on www.govone.com/PAYCAL. After this is complete, the ePayments team will provide a user guide to the employer to complete the registration process on the employer side. The employers ePayment method will be setup within five business days.
What if an employer cannot remit payment using an ACH payment method by July 1, 2020?
The employer will have to request for a waiver form by sending an e-mail to ePayments@CalSTRS.com. The waiver form will require an explanation as to why an ACH method cannot be established and must be submitted to CalSTRS by e-mail or postal mail. Waiver requests are valid for one year from the date the waiver form is received by CalSTRS.
What if an employer has additional questions?
Please contact the ePayment implementation team at ePayments@CalSTRS.com.